I got home from Italy today, and it's actually really lovely to be home. And to see my dog, who I hadn't seen for over 3 weeks! I thought I would do a post on my holiday in Mallorca that I got back from a couple of weeks ago.
We stayed on the eastern side of the island, in a town called Cala d'Or. We rented out an apartment in a complex, that had a pool and was about a 10 minute walk from the beach and the centre of the town, although there was a supermarket and a few restaurants much closer.
We got a bus from Palma airport to the town, which we booked with hoppa.com - we were very impressed with the service as it was very easy, both from and to the airport, and only around £10 each - whereas a taxi would have cost at least 65 euros each way. The journey took about an hour and a half as there is no direct road to that part of the island.
There are three different coves in Cala d'Or, all with beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea. One thing I was surprised at was how clear the water actually was. Cala Gran was the cove with the largest beach, but it was still only 40m wide and 100m deep, so wasn't actually that big. All of the beaches have sunbeds and parasols that can be hired, as well as pedaloes and a few cafes and shops.
Our time at the beach was spent jumping into the water from the rocks, which we really enjoyed doing. Afterwards we decided to go on a boat trip with a company called Starfish. They have glass-bottom boats that take you on tours around the island, to various different places depending on your preferences. We decided to visit Cala Figuera, a little fishing town not too far from Cala d'Or. There is also time for swimming in the turquoise water, and some slides off the boat too which adds to the fun. We paid around 21 euros each for a 3 hour trip, which seemed a really fair price. The staff were all really friendly and it's a trip I would recommend if you want to do something a little different. Tickets can be bought from various shops in the town, or at the beaches where the boats depart from.
Our other major day out was spent at Aqualand, a water park not too far from Palma, the capital. We caught a bus from Cala d'Or to the water park, and it cost us about 45 euros each including tickets for the park. We organised the trip in one of the nearby hotel receptions, who were only too happy to help us out. Aqualand is the biggest water park in Mallorca and has loads of slides and pools - too many for us to fit in in the one day. The park was very busy so we spent lots of time waiting around for the slides, which wasn't too enjoyable in the heat of the day (and ended up with me getting very strange tan lines!). If you are really desperate to visit a water park, then Aqualand is definitely worth a trip, but I found that I enjoyed our boat trip much more as it was more relaxed and there was less waiting around in queues.
Now, onto the interesting stuff - food and drink. The main area to eat out in Cala d'Or is a pedestrianised area, and boy is there a lot of choice. There are over 150 restaurants in the town, and many are very similar, so we found it quite hard to choose which one to eat at during our 5 days. A lot of them sell steaks, pizza, pasta and paella, but there are some designated tapas bars. There are restaurants to suit any taste - Chinese, Italian, Indian, Mexican, Greek... I would definitely recommend The Taste of Texas, situated in the centre, where I had one of my favourite meals of the holiday, a huge burger and chips. Prices are very reasonable at the restaurants; on average we probably paid around 15 euros for food and a drink.
I would also recommend the frozen yoghurt place, Yoghurtlandia. We went there for pudding most nights and it was lovely to pick all of the toppings. You also got a free yoghurt if you bought 9 as you were given a card to stamp (yes, we ate over 9).
There are also many bars to have a drink at - they are all fairly classy with reasonable drinks prices. A lot of them are also in the central residential area of the town, and range from cocktail bars to Irish pubs. We went to a place called Tropical Island a couple of times, an outdoor bar that had entertainment every night. We sang along and danced to an Abba tribute one night, which was actually really fun! We also had some amazing cocktails at a bar called Atlantis. Their cocktails were presented as well as the decor of the place. There are a few clubs dotted around Cala d'Or which were open until the early hours of the morning, but we didn't actually go in any of them - singing karaoke at a sports bar was enough fun for us. Our rendition of Dancing In The Moonlight was spectacular (just don't mention Walking on Sunshine... Our wails to the 'woahhhh' part will haunt me forever).
Cala d'Or is fairly touristy but not in an overly garish way - it still has a lot of Spanish charm underneath. There is plenty to do, from swimming in the sea to visiting the rest of the island, and plenty of places to eat and drink. It is a fairly relaxed town that is quite family-orientated - not the sort of place to go on a crazy drunken holiday, but that suited us just fine as all we wanted was some peace and hot weather.
We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.
- Virginia Satir